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Moscow Doesn’t Rule Out US Withdrawal From START Treaty

© Sputnik / Valeriy Melnikov / Go to the mediabankRussian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov gives interview
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov gives interview - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.06.2023
In February, Russia suspended its participation in New START, the last arms control deal remaining between the world's two largest nuclear powers. Moscow stressed that it was not withdrawing from the treaty completely and would continue to abide by the limits for nuclear missiles and warheads prescribed in the treaty.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov did not rule out that Washington may take steps to withdraw from the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
"If the treaty dies itself, i.e. expires, or the Americans take some steps to withdraw from this treaty, which I cannot rule out, and some build-up in this area begins, it will be an alarming development. But in any case, our security interests will not suffer," the deputy minister told reporters on Friday.
The format of possible future agreements on arms control can be in the form of parallel unilateral statements on restrictions, Ryabkov said.
"We need to think about how to formalize possible potential future agreements. And here, the schemes we mentioned earlier, including parallel unilateral statements, are acceptable. That, strictly speaking, is already happening. As you know, both Moscow and Washington, in fact, unilaterally announced their intention to adhere to the central restrictions under the New START Treaty," Ryabkov told reporters.
Russia does not have to notify the United States of the planned tests of the Poseidon nuclear-powered and nuclear-capable underwater drones, according to the agreements in force between Moscow and Washington, Sergey Ryabkov stressed.
"No, we do not have to. There are a series of agreements dating back to the 1980s, mostly from the last century, that involve the exchange of notifications about launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, as well as large-scale exercises of strategic forces. Neither one nor the other applies to this promising system, and in general, test events of this kind do not fall under any verification mechanisms and cannot fall," Ryabkov told reporters.
A deactivated Titan II nuclear ICMB - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.02.2023
What's New START Treaty and Why Did Russia Suspend It?
A source in defense industry told Sputnik earlier in the day that first trials of Poseidon drones from the Belgorod nuclear-powered submarine are scheduled for this summer.
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